Wild Rice And Its Health Benefits – Is It The Best Rice?

You may associate wild rice with rice of inferior quality, but in reality, this uncommon rice delivers various health benefits.To begin with, it has somewhat more protein than other whole grains and is an excellent …

brown rice

You may associate wild rice with rice of inferior quality, but in reality, this uncommon rice delivers various health benefits.To begin with, it has somewhat more protein than other whole grains and is an excellent source of fiber, folate, magnesium, and a multitude of other healthful elements.

In addition, like black rice, it is better for your waistline and overall health than refined-carbohydrate-rich grains.

In reality, scientific research suggests that wild rice has the potential to prevent birth abnormalities, promote bone health, and do much more. Therefore, let’s examine why you should incorporate wild rice into your diet.

What is Wild rice?

wild rice

Wild rice (Zizania aquatica or Zizania palustris) is a semi-aquatic grass that grows between two and four feet deep in lakes, rivers, and bays.

It originated in the upper Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada and is one of the two most prevalent native “grains” in North America, along with corn.

There are two more types of wild rice: Zizania texana, which is grown in the San Marcos River region just north of San Antonio, Texas, and Zizania latifolia, which is native to Asia and is more commonly used as a vegetable because of its greens.

Wild rice has been cultivated in North American marshes for thousands of years. It germinates in the chilly muck beneath the water, then matures throughout the brief northern season.

Its ability to survive migrating birds and early frosts by maturing its seeds at different periods is quite remarkable. As new dangers emerge, this poses both obstacles and new opportunities for the harvesting process.

Health Benefits of Wild Rice

wild rice preparation

1.Boosts the immune system

As a food rich in antioxidants, wild rice is able to combat chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, stroke, and possibly even some forms of cancer.

In studies published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in the journal Food Chemistry, the antioxidant activity of wild rice methanol extract was found to be up to 10 times better than that of white rice, making it an excellent food for preventing free radical damage.

The results demonstrated that wild rice is rich in phenolic acid and sinapic acid, two naturally occurring phytonutrients.

Phenolic acids are found in plants, and because wild rice is classified as a grass, it falls into this group, providing protection against chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

2. Reduces Birth Defects

Folate is a member of the B vitamin family and occurs naturally in certain foods, primarily leafy greens. Additionally, wild rice is an excellent source of folate, which provides numerous benefits in and of itself.

Folate is required for rapid cell division and development, making it essential during pregnancy. In fact, pregnancy can treble the requirement for folic acid-rich meals.

To assist promote a healthy pregnancy, focus on ingesting vegetables and wild rice as a source of folate, rather than relying on folic acid tablets.

3. Fortifies Bones 

Phosphorus is known to strengthen bones and lower the likelihood of stress fractures, and wild rice is an excellent source of phosphorus.

Calcium and phosphorus supplements were added to the diets of study participants at the University of Michigan in an effort to prevent reductions in bone mass and structural strength during a short-term exercise program as compared to exercise alone.

A three-week exercise trial was conducted, whereas an eight-week exercise experiment was conducted.

Increasing dietary mineral consumption, particularly during an activity program, resulted in increases in bone mass, which aided significantly in the resistance to stress fractures.

This indicates that phosphorus-rich diets such as wild rice can build bones and enhance overall bone health.

4. Boost Energy

Magnesium is a crucial element found in wild rice. Through the activation of adenosine triphosphate, magnesium-rich meals may assist the body produce energy .

With sufficient ATP, you can prevent exhaustion not only from day-to-day tasks but also during exercise, when it is typically more difficult for cells to acquire oxygen. During exercise, the increased demand for oxygen is supplied by an increase in blood flow to the muscles.

A study by physiologist Henry C. Lukaski and nutritionist Forrest H. Nielsen demonstrates what happens when magnesium levels in the body are reduced and how this impacts our energy metabolism. During activity, a deficiency of magnesium is connected with an increased need for oxygen.

During moderate activity, study participants with low magnesium levels in the muscle were more likely to expend more energy, causing them to tire more quickly than those with adequate magnesium levels. Magnesium, or ATP, helps provide this vital energy, therefore if you lack it, your energy levels are likely to drop considerably more rapidly.

5. Gluten Free

Wild rice, like brown rice, is naturally gluten-free, making it an excellent choice for anyone with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. Gluten-free eating can contribute to a healthier overall diet if unhealthy foods containing gluten are substituted with healthier alternatives.

Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley, and rye, constituting around 80% of the amino acids contained in these grains. However, as it is difficult to digest for many, it may be best to avoid it.

In spite of the fact that grains and grain substitutes such as brown rice, oats, quinoa, rice, and corn are gluten-free, research indicates that food processing procedures may contaminate these foods with gluten.

If gluten is a worry for you, be knowledgeable about the origin of each food. Carefully read labels, be familiar with the brand, or contact the firm or maker.

How to Eat Wild Rice

Wild rice preparation is not complicated. Similar to brown or black rice, it must be cooked for some time, but is otherwise low maintenance. You can prepare a huge batch and store it for a week. This type of meal preparation will make it easy for you to arrange nutritious lunch and dinner selections.

Check the label for specific instructions, but in general, follow these methods to prepare wild rice:

  1. In a 2- to 3-quart pot with a tight-fitting lid, combine 1 cup uncooked wild rice with around 3 cups of water or broth.
  2. Bring to a boil, then decrease heat and cover for 35–50 minutes. When cooked, wild rice swells and bursts open.
  3. To ensure that it is ready, you can sample a few bites. If the necessary tenderness has not been achieved, continue cooking for a few minutes longer. If all the water has been absorbed, you may need to add some more. Using a timer to cook rice ensures that it turns out perfectly.
  4. With a fork, fluff and serve.

Since wild rice is low in fat, it can be stored forever in a dry, airtight container. This is the ideal staple to keep in your pantry and use to prepare a nutritious dinner.

It is ideal for meal planning because cooked, drained, and tightly packed wild rice may be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week and in the freezer for up to six months.